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Guitar Hero: 4'33"
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This Idea is generic, but let's start by considering a Ferris
Wheel. You get into the seat, and notice a significant
difference; there is a pedal assembly where each
passenger would put his or her feet.
The pedal assembly is connected, along with all the others,
to a continuously variable
automatic transmission, so that
even if you are the only one pedaling, you can manage to
make the ride move. Slowly, but surely. Obviously, the
more people pedaling the more force is being applied, and
the automatic transmission can adjust toward a higher
gear ratio, and the ride will go faster.
For some rides, of course, like a roller coaster, you only
need to pedal enough to get to the top of the first hill,
because the ride is designed to coast the rest of the way
around the track.
In every case, though, the users get some exercise, and
the manager saves money on the electric bill.
Inspiration for this Idea
I wanted something a bit safer, which also made this Idea different from the inspiration. [Vernon, Apr 09 2013]
An extreme reduction gear-set
We would want it made of metal, not plastic, but otherwise, this is nicely compact and would fit well with this Idea. [Vernon, Jul 16 2015]
||It's not at all clear to me that one person, or even a few
people, could pedal hard enough to overcome the frictional
losses involved in getting something as large as a
several-ton Ferris wheel to turn.
||Even if it were manageable by a large number of people
pedaling, the first and last riders would have a problem.
||What about freeloaders? People who don't want to pedal enough?
||How about as an alternative, the people in line pedal, and by pedaling fill pressurized reservoir, which is then tapped as needed for the ride? Don't let them on the ride unless they have pedaled 100 strokes or whatever.
||//It's not at all clear to me that one person, or even a few people, could pedal hard enough to overcome the frictional losses involved in getting something as large as a several-ton Ferris wheel to turn.//
||The right block and tackle would do the job. (+)
||There is a type of speed-reduction gearing that
can easily do 1000:1 ratios. I first saw it more than
30-odd years ago, and don't recall what the
particular system was called, so can't hunt for it on
the Internet, but I can describe it....
||Start with two disks with gear teeth, the same
diameter. One disk has just one more tooth on it
than the other. The disks are large enough so that
the difference in size of teeth is trivial.
||One disk is solidly mounted and does not rotate.
The other is placed very near the first and is free
to rotate. Its axle will be the Output axle of the
system. (If this axle continued on the other side
of this disk, it would encounter the center of the
||Now take a smaller but kind-of-wide gear and mesh
it to the teeth of BOTH large disks. The axle of
this gear is mounted on a frame that is able to
revolve completely around the two large disks.
The Input of this overall system drives the frame,
to make it do that revolving.
||As the frame revolves, what happens is that the
small gear freely moves around the large disks.
However, because the two large disks have
different numbers of gear teeth, and because the
small gear meshes both, the large disk that is able
to rotate will indeed rotate, slowly, with HUGE
||Regardless of whether or not this particular system
is used to increase the mechanical advantage of a
single human trying to cause something as massive
as a Ferris Wheel to rotate, I'm confident that we
have SOMETHING that will enable this Idea to
work. "Slowly, but surely" I wrote in the main
text...and I meant it.
||Maybe what you want is a worm gear drive, but I say
forget the gearing and ratios. Drive a pneumatic